Popular CRM Options for Contractors

Posted by David Chism | Wed, Sep 14, 2016

 Popular CRM Options for Contractors
It is time for anoth­er update of pop­u­lar cloud-based cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment (CRM) pro­grams that have con­tin­ued to be pop­u­lar for the con­tract­ing mar­ket. There are lit­er­al­ly hun­dreds of options out there. I will list them in no par­tic­u­lar order except the first 5 or 6 I’ve had more expe­ri­ence in test­ing or using. If you are a con­trac­tor (home improve­ment busi­ness) and would like to add your favorite CRM to the list, please do so in the com­ment section. Before I list the CRMs, you might be won­der­ing what val­ue a CRM can bring to your orga­ni­za­tion. Here are a few blogs I have writ­ten on CRMs and some of their ben­e­fits: How Can You Run a Busi­ness with­out a CRM A key exam­ple of how a CRM can help increase your sales

Pop­u­lar CRMs for Home Improve­ment Contractors

base-logoBase CRM: I have been fol­low­ing the folks at Base CRM for many years. Their prod­uct just keeps get­ting bet­ter and stronger. It is a fair­ly sim­ple CRM to use and yet is also very pow­er­ful. A busi­ness of any size could ben­e­fit from Base. If you are just start­ing out, Base real­ly is a help­ful CRM that can be used on just about any desk­top, tablet or mobile device. If you are a large cor­po­rate look­ing for an alter­na­tive to Sales­force,Base CRM is a sol­id option for your sales team. It is what I use for my con­sult­ing busi­ness. PipelineDealsLogo1Pipeline Deals: Even though I might use Base as my cur­rent CRM, I am a huge fan of Pipeline Deals. Almost all my paint­ing clients and remod­el­ers use Pipeline Deals. It is one of the least com­pli­cat­ed and yet pow­er­ful CRMs on the mar­ket. It is easy to get up and run­ning for your sales team. Sev­er­al things I love about Pipeline is the col­lab­o­ra­tion and account­abil­i­ty that can be done with­in the CRM, easy report­ing to know where your team is at, and an excep­tion­al sup­port staff. If you have a ques­tion, the Pipeline Deals sup­port team is per­haps the best I’ve ever seen. They are very respon­sive by email, chat or phone! I have recent­ly built a cus­tomer mar­ket­ing report­ing sys­tem, which only works with Pipeline Deals. I can now inte­grate my clien­t’s Pipeline account into my report­ing soft­ware to mon­i­tor and track mar­ket­ing expens­es, leads and sales. Sales­force: Is per­haps the most wide­ly known CRM on the mar­ket today. 15 years ago it was ACT! that lead the way of CRMs. Sales­force is the new CRM leader for small, medi­um and many large orga­ni­za­tions. Sales­force has done a good job the last sev­er­al years of cater­ing more to the small­er com­pa­nies by low­er­ing their ini­tial cost per user. It now starts at $25 a month per user for some basic yet valu­able CRM tools. Many of the com­pa­nies I have con­nect­ed with in the con­tract­ing world find that Sales­force is a bit too pow­er­ful for their needs. I think if your orga­ni­za­tion is orga­nized enough and has a great oper­a­tions team that can imple­ment well, Sales­force is still a lead­ing CRM that can do just more than many of us think! There are tons of plu­g­ins and add-ons for Sales­force too that can help with finances, mar­ket­ing, oper­a­tions, sched­ul­ing and more. Zohoz-logo: I won’t go into details about Zoho here. It appears that Zoho tried to cre­ate a prod­uct that mim­ic­ked Google Apps for Work and Sales­force for a cheap­er price tag. Zoho has a lot of prod­ucts that con­nect with each oth­er: project man­age­ment, CRM, billing soft­ware, sched­ul­ing, and so forth. Mar­ket­Sharp: I used Mar­ket­Sharp 12 – 15 years ago when I worked in my father’s paint­ing com­pa­ny. Back then it did func­tion as a CRM, but we were using ACT! 2000 at the time. There­fore, Mar­ket­Sharp served our com­pa­ny by help­ing us do job site mail­ers. It was real­ly a great tool for this. We did not take advan­tage of all the fea­tures Mar­ket­Sharp had to offer. Fast for­ward to 2016, Mar­ket­Sharp is still in the busi­ness. That says a lot! I have lost touch with them a bit, but from what I can tell, they have real­ly con­tin­ued to devel­op their prod­uct for the home improve­ment indus­try. Their CRM looks real­ly quite good if you want an all in one solu­tion! Any CRM real­ly has val­ue if your com­pa­ny com­mits to learn­ing and using it. I’d rec­om­mend find­ing one you real­ly like and will see your team using it. The ones list­ed below I’ve done some basic user test on, but I do not have exten­sive expe­ri­ence with them. Still, they have their place and can be con­sid­ered! Insight­ly CRM: One of the ear­ly cloud-based CRMs on the mar­ket that start­ed out FREE of charge for a num­ber of years. I believe this is how it gained some cred­i­bil­i­ty. It has great fea­tures and worked well. It is no longer free but remains a qual­i­ty CRM. Pipedrive Cap­sule: A low cost and sim­ple CRM to use for a small con­tract­ing busi­ness. Solve CRM: This has been around for quite a few years and was an ear­ly adapter and part­ner to Google Apps. It is a com­plex yet sim­ple” CRM. How­ev­er, I found it a lit­tle too com­pli­cat­ed for me to use and imple­ment. Nut­shell CRM: These folks do a great job with usabil­i­ty and design. They were also one of the first to cre­ate mobile apps for their prod­uct. Very slick prod­uct and great cus­tomer sup­port. Hub­spot: These folks are the leader in mar­ket­ing automa­tion soft­ware and inbound mar­ket­ing. They cre­at­ed a CRM sev­er­al years ago that has been grow­ing in mar­ket share. Batch­book CRM: A very cost effec­tive and easy to use sim­ple CRM. Their sup­port team is also very respon­sive. They do not offer a lot of updates like Base, Pipeline & Salesforce…but when they do, they are good updates! Kar­ma CRM: I used this CRM for awhile and real­ly liked it. The mobile side of things (at the time) suf­fered a bit. Yet the user inter­face on the desk­top was great. I real­ly enjoyed Kar­ma and get­ting to know the staff being Kar­ma CRM. Great peo­ple! Cork CRM: I have test­ed Cork a bit and believe it is good for a small paint­ing com­pa­ny. When I reviewed Cork, it was cre­at­ed for paint­ing con­trac­tors pri­mar­i­ly. It does a bit more than cus­tomer man­age­ment. It can cre­ate estimates/​proposals and sched­ule projects as well. I did not find it a great option for a medi­um or large paint­ing company.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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